Recently a person had asked me to watch her 4 dogs while she was on vacation. I had a key to the house. Once I saw the condition of the dogs and what they were living in, I had to do something. There was one puppy (she previously offered to me) that was very nervous and scared. I bathed the puppy and took her. I let the owner know I took the dog, and I told her that we had to have a serious talk when she returned. She was okay with me taking the dog at that time. Once she returned home, I explained to her that I could not and would not act like I didn't see the conditions of the dogs and what they were living in. I offered to help her get the living conditions in order (at the time the person was my friend and I wanted to avoid getting authorities involved). Once I had this conversation, she called the cops on me and the cops came to take the dog. I explained to the cops why I took the dog and wanted to set a plan to help the others. I had a photo that I took of the conditions the dogs were living in. Animal control then went and took all of the dogs. and I had to return the one I had to the shelter. I took classes and volunteer at the shelter to see this dog during the court process. One dog has passed away since being in the shelter. They have been in the shelter going on 4 months now. Is there a certain time frame before the shelter can claim the dog as their property and allow her to be adoptable, or do I have to keep waiting? Everyone at the shelter knows that I want to adopt her, and this puppy is getting worse with every day she is in the shelter. I want to be able to get her out of there as soon as possible. Is there any action I can take to quicken the process?
If the animals are being held because there is a criminal case pending, there are a few options. Some shelters will place the animals in foster homes pending the outcome of the criminal case so the animals do not have to spend so much time at the shelter. Sometimes district attorneys will work out a plea deal with the defendant so the defendant surrenders the animal to the shelter. This way, animals do not need to be held and can be rehomed more expeditiously. There is also a mechanism under New York law so that an animal can be deemed forfeited before the criminal case is over. The law provides that if an animal is seized for violation of an animal cruelty law, the impounding organization may file a petition asking the court to require the animal’s owner to post a security in an amount to cover reasonable expenses in caring for the animal pending the disposition of the charges. The law further allows the court to order the forfeiture of the animal if the person ordered to post the security fails to do so.
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